Asustek seeks turnaround of handset biz in 2021

Monica Chen, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Asustek Computer is looking to turn around its handset business in 2021 with multiple approaches, including plans to launch its next-generation gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone5, in March-April, according to industry sources.

For the first time, the brand vendor also plans to launch a mini version of its ZenFone this year, targeting users affiliated with smaller-size models.

Asustek's smartphone shipments were lower than expected in 2020, affected by pandemic-induced impacts and shortages of some major components and parts, the sources indicated.

Sales of older models posted net profit of NT$498 million (US$17.8 million) in third-quarter 2020, while sales of new-generation ones suffered net loss of NT$1.23 billion, according to company data.

The ROG Phone 5 will be priced higher than its predecessor, the ROG Phone 3, due to the adoption of a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 CPU.

The company will also continue cooperating with Tencent Holdings to promote the new gaming model in China, the sources noted.

Asustek will also enhance its cooperation with Qualcomm, helping the US chipmaker launch its first brand gaming smartphone in the coming months.

The Asustek-Qualcomm collaboration calls for joint purchases of needed handset parts and components, including displays, memory devices, heat dissipation solutions, batteries and camera modules, which will help Asustek chop down its purchasing costs.